WASHINGTON — The first multilateral trade agreement focused on fighting counterfeiting and piracy moved closer to completion this week.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office released the first public copy of the text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement following the conclusion of the final round of negotiations over the weekend.
ACTA will establish an international framework for fighting the proliferation of counterfeit goods worldwide and increase cooperation and enforcement efforts.
Participants in the agreement include the U.S., the European Union, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Morocco.
U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said negotiations are “almost across the finish line.” The agreement will undergo legal review and be released again before participants sign.
The collaborative work represented in the agreement text “should send a strong message to pirates and counterfeiters that they have no place in the channels of legitimate trade,” Kirk said.
Rob Calia, senior director for counterfeiting and piracy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center, said ACTA will “raise the bar for intellectual property.”